Project Based Learning in ECE Classrooms

Project Based Learning

By: Amanda Potts and Amber Wampler

What is Project Based Learning?

Project Based Learning is a teaching method used for students to explore, gain knowledge, and solve a complex question, problem or challenge for an extended period of time. The Buck Institute for Education has created a list of key concepts that are included in Project Based Learning such as significant content, in-depth inquiry, a driving question, etc. It not only incorporates all of these concepts but it encourages students to become real-world problem solvers and provides many opportunities to experience a meaningful learning environment. 


Why use Project Based Learning? 

  • Project Based Learning emphasizes the importance of a hands-on learning experience
  • Students are able to explore and engage in content that enhances real world application
  • They are able to understand and explore content more deeply 
  • This teaching method can be used to integrate mutliple content areas into one project
  • Students take ownership in the projects that they are involved in and retain information longer because of their active learning
  • It provides opportunities for students to build confidence, work collaboratively, be creative and most importantly develop problem solving skills











How to Implement Project Based Learning into the Classroom 

There are many ways to incorporate Project Based Learning in the classroom, but it is important for teachers to understand that it differentiates depending on the interests of the students. This is a list of helpful resources that include lesson plans, examples of success, and how to incorporate standards and subjects into Project Based Learning:

        Gives various examples of Project Based Learning lessons that have been implemented in the classroom 

        How a first grade teacher successfully implemented Project Based Learning into her classroom and               incorporated the standards as well 

      Includes an urban classroom's entire curriculum designed around Project Based Learning, Project Citizen, and how 5th grade students were challenged to use their voice in order to address the needs of their school 

       Examples of Project Based Learning lesson plans in all content areas 





Additional Resources 

1) Acar, G. (2013). The Effect Of Project-Based Learning On Students' Motivation. International Journal Of Academic Research, 5(2), 82-86. doi:10.7813/2075-4124.2013/5-2/B.11


2) Blumenfeld, P. C., Soloway, E., Marx, R. W., Krajcik, J. S., Guzdial, M., & Palincsar, A. (1991). Motivating Project-Based Learning: Sustaining the Doing, Supporting the Learning. Educational Psychologist, 26(3/4), 369.


3) Thomas, John W., Ph. D. A Review Of Research On Project-Based Learning (n.d.): n. pag. Web.






Embedded Video: